The Rev. Dr. Charles P. Robshaw was a remarkable person. As one of the founders of East End Cooperative Ministry, his contributions to the life of East Liberty Presbyterian Church, the East Liberty neighborhood, and the Pittsburgh community in general were noteworthy.
It was only in his latter years that I came to know him. Nancy and I lived as neighbors to Charles and Vadis on Mt. Washington in Chatham Village. Before the Robshaws moved to Minnesota a few years ago, I belonged with Charles to a clergy discussion/dinner group that met once a month. In warm weather we played tennis during which he would sometimes talk to me about the theological contributions made by the early church fathers. I came to appreciate and respect him immensely. He was one of the few persons Iíve known whose life could well become oneís model.
I knew Charles as a man of humor. He exuded a robust Irish wit. He laughed easily and enjoyed all kinds of comedy.
I knew him as a man of honor. Integrity was one of his names. When he spoke, you knew his words expressed what he believed to be true. Psalm 15 describes the righteous person as one who honors his promise even when the promise puts him at a disadvantage. Charles Robshaw was such a person.
I knew him as a man of humility. His knowledge was broad and deep. His mind was a storehouse of information and insight. As the pastor of a prestigious congregation, he moved easily among societyís powerful and well to do. Yet, like his Lord, he was always a friend to the poor, the unsophisticated, and those excluded from privileged circles.
I knew him also as a man of authentic holiness. Charles didnít wear religion on his sleeve. His outward demeanor reflected his inward commitments. Those commitments exhibited a strong love both for God and neighbor. If there was any self-righteousness or superficial piety in him, I never recognized it. He not only talked the talk, he walked the walk of genuine faith.
Of Charles Robshaw it can surely be said that earthís loss is heavenís
gain. We who knew him will miss him greatly.
Copyright William M. Paul, 2003